This is from Gary's POV, and not a depression fic. Just came to me at the spur of the moment.
Disclaimers: I own nothing. It all belongs to CBS and company.
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Outside the Window
by Ally McKnight
It's a nice day outside, but I don't feel like leaving the loft. The paper is completely empty. I read it cover to cover six times, and there's nothing. A day off.
I imagined a day off so many times. Funny, I thought that if I ever got one, I'd be off seeing a movie, or catching a ball game. But, I don't feel like doing much. Just sitting here by the window, looking out onto Chicago, with Cat curled up on my lap and a cup of hot coffee in my hand.
So many people going by, outside the window. They have their business and I have mine. Though it does seem like my business always seems to revolve around them. Not that I mind. If I didn't get the paper, I'd still be running the streets, looking for somebody in need. I guess that's what I was born to do, and probably why I get the paper.
I stopped wondering why a long time ago. I doubt I'll ever know the real reason why, but I'm content with just doing what I have to do, and not wondering why I was cursed with the paper. Or is it blessed? I'll never really know. Some days, I'm blessed, while others, I'm cursed. Depends on how the cat feels.
Funny, here I am, watching over the city, like a guardian. And I guess that's what I am. The guardian of Chicago. That lady down their chasing her dog, I've probably saved her life before. Maybe more than once. That guy with the hot dog, I've probably helped him a couple times. Funny, how I never remember their faces.
I guess I'm content as I am, in the shadows, a silent hero. I could put out a billboard with my face on it asking, 'Has this man ever saved your life?' and you can bet almost the whole city of Chicago would show up. But that's not what I want.
All I really want is to go day-by-day, tending to the paper, a loft to come home to, and friends and family that love me. I'm a pretty simple guy, pretty low maintenance, very easily impressed. But then again, I'm a guy from Hickory, Indiana, a table that has more than one fork per place impresses me.
I know eventually, I'll pass the paper on to Lindsey Romick, and her to
another. I know one day I'll die, and the paper will switch from my hands
to hers. She'll go through what I've gone, and am going through. Love, hurt,
pain, loss, the whole thing. I
hope she takes care of the cat.
I glance down at the cat, absentmindedly stroking his fur. It curls up into a tiny ball, and I can't help but realize this is my life. From the day Marcia threw me out, to the day I die, the paper, and the cat will be mine.
The cat gives me a look. I chuckle a little.
"Don't worry little buddy," I tell the cat. "I'm not going yet."
I could go downstairs, say hi to Marissa, go catch the new DeNeiro flick, and buy a hamburger. But I think I won't. I think I'll just spend a little longer gazing at the window, watching the people go by. This one to work, that one to play, everyone going somewhere, but not knowing where. That used to be me. I was never really happy but that was me.
I'm content as I am. I'm content as the guardian, watching over the people of Chicago.
Right now, safe in my comfy loft, away from all of it, I can't help but see how really good I have it.
Sure, I could go and do all the things the paper never let me do, but like I said, I'm content as I am. Gary Hobson, the guardian.
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